Turkish authorities say they’ve seized thousands of guns at a warehouse near the Syrian border. A local news agency says the weapons are believed to have been destined for Turkey’s war-torn neighbour.
A Turkish military police video shows the firearms stored at a village warehouse on the edge of the Turkish town of Akcakale. The cache included more than 5,000 shortguns and rifles, starting pistols, gunstocks and 10,000 cartridges.
The Dogan News Agency says the weapons were being stored on the edge of the border town, awaiting delivery to Syria. The depot’s 35-year-old owner has been detained. The firearms have an estimated market value of around 3 million lira, or 1.7 million US dollars.
Turkey has provided shelter to Syrian refugees and rebels who have crossed the 900-km border between the two countries. The Turkish government has expressed its support for the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but has ruled out arming rebel fighters.
Turkey has a number of domestic firearms manufacturers and it’s believed the starting pistols discovered at the warehouse could easily be converted to fire live ammunition.